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Author Topic: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...  (Read 15632 times)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2016, 03:17:40 am »

I one the other hand (as mentioned above) prefer the Yorkville Parasource systems (equivalent in quality to like QSC, EV etc).

"DB Line Array Stuff" is a silly collective noun to describe a huge product range from a vendor.  Certainly DB makes some good stuff however like any line array element, improper deployment and operation can render them as garbage in untrained hands.

Also certainly a Yorkville Parasource is a prosumer level product and both QSC and EV have product lines spanning from entry level to arena touring product.

I hope you are not offended, however your writing makes me think you are young and impressionable.  At every level we are all capable of getting emotional over gear however as you grow your business they are assets and tools and need to be chosen to fill a role and deliver a return on investment.  If you allow other criteria to come into play you need to examine your motives.
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Ken Bromley

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2016, 04:12:46 am »

"DB Line Array Stuff" is a silly collective noun to describe a huge product range from a vendor.  Certainly DB makes some good stuff however like any line array element, improper deployment and operation can render them as garbage in untrained hands.

Also certainly a Yorkville Parasource is a prosumer level product and both QSC and EV have product lines spanning from entry level to arena touring product.

I hope you are not offended, however your writing makes me think you are young and impressionable.  At every level we are all capable of getting emotional over gear however as you grow your business they are assets and tools and need to be chosen to fill a role and deliver a return on investment.  If you allow other criteria to come into play you need to examine your motives.

I am 51 years old and have worked with touring bands and concerts, corporate events and bars/night clubs on and off over the past 3 decades. I am also a professional DJ and have been doing so also for over 30 years.

I simplified (dumbed down) my question in order to make it generalized as apposed to being specific (seeing that my question was also generalized). That being said; the DB systems are from the Arena series including the Arena 15s and the SW15s as for the Yorkville systems, I already mentioned the parasource active systems are a personal favorite (primarily for weddings and mixed parties). But for bar/club work where EDM, electronic and rap are the major genres and high SLPs and sonic clairity are required then the NX Series is my preference. They are compact, powerful have excellent range and with a max output of 128db sustained for both the tops (NX55P-2) and the subs (NX720S) given it's balanced, warm sound and huge amounts of headroom for those killer transients that regularly occur with EDM rap/hip-hop music; they are my PA of choice.

Once again my question was a general one so the info I gave was also general. Maybe I am a bit biased because I have been around crappy , midrange, pro and touring systems for much of my life and have trained my ear and I know what I like and dislike. This is why the question was asked...I take for granted that I can tell the difference between crappy sound reproduction and good reproduction. Unfortunately; my experience also makes it difficult to be objective when it comes to the sound quality from the stand point of the  "audience's hears"...thus my question.

BTW no offense was taken. But I would still like to know if it is likely that a person with an untrained ear could tell the difference between music from a consumer level PA system and a prosumer or touring system...this is the crux of the debate.

One other note....I am doing events and gigs for groups from 100 - 600 people and not thousands (200-300 would be about average). At this time I am preferring to rent the sound systems I need until the business takes hold in my area (it's a financial thing).

Thank you for your input :)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 04:40:24 am by Ken Bromley »
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2016, 06:59:10 am »

I tend to agree that the average punter on the dance floor at a wedding is not going to care if it's a Behringer XXX or a Meyer UPA.
They are basically interested in having a good time dancing to the music they want to hear and if the sound is not terrible, don't care.
Why invest more money in better equipment if you can satisfy the job with something cost effective?
As a DJ, the equipment is not the determining factor in a good show.

Don't get me wrong, I too want to give the best possible audio to my clients.
However, over the 45+ years doing this, I have found that, in most cases, the customer can be satisfied and money can be made without using the best and most expensive gear.
Honestly, unless the problem is catastrophic, they just don't hear the difference.
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Dave Scarlett

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2016, 07:53:02 am »

It sounds like you might be Canadian with your fondness for Yorkville products, good to hear as I use to work there. Long story short, if you want to impress a DJ crowd go with lots of subs.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2016, 08:48:58 am »

There are two aspects here.  While to the average attendee at a small wedding a Behringer system that's not pushed too hard probably sounds acceptable, there is the reliability factor for the owner.  Along with the ability to cover a broader range of applications with smaller equipment when it will still sound good at levels the low end gear would sound noticeably terrible at.

As far as overall sound quality, that is more of a moving target depending on what someone has recently been exposed to.  Or if they have a history of exposure to some level of quality.  A few years ago a fellow I casually know was at my home and I showed him the stereo rig I had at the time.  Which consisted of Magneplanar MGIIIs driven by Mark Levinson and Classe electronics.  He was a long time lover of classical music so I put on a record of the Greig piano concerto.  The rest of us were chatting in the background in the next room when he piped up that he'd been sitting there for almost half an hour and he'd never heard anything sound so real.  Now this guy was in his '60s and wore two hearing aids.  He still attended classical concerts on occasion but by all accounts his hearing was shot.  He certainly couldn't hear up where the ribbon tweeters could go.  But what  live music sounded like to him, was being reproduced in a living room for the first time in his experience.  The aural cues he was accustomed to were still there.  Which he wasn't used to hearing from consumer stereo systems.  His reference was undoubtedly different than some young person with good ears.  That experience reset my understanding of "dog ears" or "golden ears".  And brought up the idea of reference.  If you are used to live acoustic music, whatever the condition of your ears, then whatever comes closest to that same experience will be your measure of sound quality.  If you are only used to your car stereo, then that will be your reference.  Anything better than that may or may not be noticeable.  But if it's worse, then you'll know it.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2016, 09:02:08 am »

If you are in business, you will buy the equipment you believe will make you the most money, which may or may not be what happens to be what sounds the best.  There are many other important variables - initial cost, reliability, resale value, cross-rentability, logistics, repairability, brand recognition/rider friendliness, size, weight, coverage, output capability, etc.  Where sound quality falls on that list depends on the type of gig and your business model.

Extremely cheap gear gets that way due to a large number of compromises.  For events where auditory expectations are low and the likelihood of loss or damage is high, low-end junk plus a truck full of spares might be just the ticket.  At the other extreme end - very high-profile events that are "too big to fail" will have highly redundant setups where money is no object and sound quality is likely to be very high. 

Every product that is a success in the market has found a matching niche for its feature set, of which price is one of the features.
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Peter Morris

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2016, 09:07:55 am »

OK I am a single OP that has been DJing on and off for over 3 decades. Now; I own all my own equipment with the exception of a PA system. This is because the PA system you use from one event to the next will be as diverse as the event itself. As an example I would not use the same PA system for a 10 years old's birthday party with 25 kids as I would at a wedding for 200 people where the music will be top 40 & rock vs a bar gig doing throwback techno & house. I would rather rent the PA system that best matches the event, style of music being played, venue and crowd size.

So here is the question...A friend of mine (who also owns a DJ company) says that people in a crowd (your audience) are not going to be able to tell the difference between a lower end PA system (like Behringer 12" & Horn with a 15" sub and powered with inuke amps) and a higher end mid-range system like (Yorkville's Parasource 12" & horn with a 15" sub both active). BTW; He also has higher end stuff like DB line arrays but only wants to use it for corporate events and large weddings and such.

I say that they can tell the difference and even a novice knows when the sound is not clear and clean. What do you all think?

To me itís simple Ė no one really notices sound quality unless itís really bad.  If itís really good everyone will have a great time, they will say the band was great or the party was great.

So sound quality does have a very noticeable impact, but it the seldom gets the credit it deserves. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 09:10:22 am by Peter Morris »
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2016, 09:24:55 am »

It's the entertainment business, not the sound/music business.  Providing a show at a reasonable price with no feedback on the $ mic is all that's required...that and a killer light show.
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David Simpson

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2016, 09:28:28 am »

To me the source material (usually poor quality .Mp3's) makes more of a difference than the low to mid level speakers in question. Even with a great PA, a .Mp3 or a DJ mixer that is run in the red (happens more often than not) will have a greater impact on the guest experience compared to, say a .WAV file (or CD) and proper gain structure.

~Dave
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 09:34:31 am by David Simpson »
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Rick Powell

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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2016, 09:53:53 am »

OK I am a single OP that has been DJing on and off for over 3 decades. Now; I own all my own equipment with the exception of a PA system. This is because the PA system you use from one event to the next will be as diverse as the event itself. As an example I would not use the same PA system for a 10 years old's birthday party with 25 kids as I would at a wedding for 200 people where the music will be top 40 & rock vs a bar gig doing throwback techno & house. I would rather rent the PA system that best matches the event, style of music being played, venue and crowd size.

So here is the question...A friend of mine (who also owns a DJ company) says that people in a crowd (your audience) are not going to be able to tell the difference between a lower end PA system (like Behringer 12" & Horn with a 15" sub and powered with inuke amps) and a higher end mid-range system like (Yorkville's Parasource 12" & horn with a 15" sub both active). BTW; He also has higher end stuff like DB line arrays but only wants to use it for corporate events and large weddings and such.

I say that they can tell the difference and even a novice knows when the sound is not clear and clean. What do you all think?

One thing to consider is that your equipment is a tool. A skilled carpenter could build a great speaker box using just a circular saw and a hammer, but wouldn't they prefer to have a fully equipped wood shop to do it? Same goes for sound equipment, many sound engineers could get acceptable results on less than stellar equipment, but would be easier and more enjoyable to them to have a tool that gets the results quicker and easier and has a higher ceiling for performance.
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Re: Help solve an argument about speaker quality...
¬ę Reply #19 on: March 23, 2016, 09:53:53 am ¬Ľ


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